2017 Volkswagen e-Golf To Get Range Boost Above 100 Miles


Volkswagen e-Golf Touch - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Volkswagen e-Golf Touch - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Enlarge Photo

Since it launched in a handful of states in late 2014, the Volkswagen e-Golf's rated range has put it somewhere in the middle of the current crop of electric cars.

Its EPA-rated 83 miles of range is better than several electric-car models, but a few rungs below the top of the ladder.

Now, it appears the e-Golf will get a range boost for the 2017 model year that will make it a bit more competitive.

DON'T MISS: 2015 Volkswagen e-Golf: What We Like & Don’t Like, After First Drive (Jun 2015)

The electric Golf will get a 30-percent range increase thanks to battery improvements, VW electronic-development chief Volkmar Tanneberger told Autoblog Green at the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

Each of the e-Golf's battery cells will grow to 37 amp-hours from the current 28 amp-hours, Tanneberger said.

However, the physical size of the cells won't change, he noted.

Volkswagen e-Golf Touch - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Volkswagen e-Golf Touch - 2016 Consumer Electronics Show

Enlarge Photo

If VW really can achieve a 30-percent range boost, that will bring the 2017 e-Golf to around 108 miles of range.

That will bring it to near-parity with the 2016 Nissan Leaf, which has a 107-mile range with the optional 30-kilowatt-hour battery pack.

Nissan still offers the smaller 24-kWh pack in the base 2016 Leaf S, and it still has a 1-mile advantage over the 2016 e-Golf with 84 miles of range.

ALSO SEE: 2016 Nissan Leaf Offers 107-Mile Range With 30-kWh Battery; Leaf S Unchanged (Sep 2015)

However, the e-Golf currently has a marginally higher efficiency rating than any Leaf model, at 116 MPGe combined. (MPGe is a measure of how far a car can travel electrically on the same amount of energy as contained in 1 gallon of gasoline.)

In comparison, the 24-kWh Leaf is rated at 114 MPGe combined, while 30-kWh models are rated at 112 MPGe combined.

It's unclear whether that advantage will hold after Volkswagen makes its range-boosting modifications.

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf - Long-term test car

2015 Volkswagen e-Golf - Long-term test car

Enlarge Photo

Also unknown is when exactly Volkswagen will introduce the updated 2017 model.

In addition to the new battery cells, the electric hatchback may also get a version of the gesture-controlled infotainment previewed on an e-Golf concept at CES.

MORE: Sight Unseen: Pros And Cons Of Driving A 'Stealth' EV (Nov 2015)

Like the current e-Golf, the 2017 model will likely be available only at certain VW dealers in electric-car friendly states.

Right now, those states include only California, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont, as well as the District of Columbia.

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